Re: [OPE-L] questions on the interpretation of labour values

From: Pen-L Fred Moseley (fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU)
Date: Tue Mar 20 2007 - 23:42:11 EDT

Quoting Jerry Levy <Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM>:

>> That is, a stash of "money to be advanced" can be said to exist
>> _prior_ to production only (a) at the micro level of individual
>> firms (perhaps!) or (b) in a fictional economy on a synchronized
>> annual agricultural cycle.
> Hi Allin and others:
> I think this issue arises in Fred's perspective because he takes the
> analysis of Volume 1 and capital-in-general to concern the
> macroeconomy.  Suppose instead that the issue of  where the
> initial M comes from and what its quantity is in the formula
> M - C - M'  comes up in the context of what modern economists
> call a "representative firm".   In more Hegelian language,  it might be
> thought of as  a capitalist firm in the context of simple, undifferentiated
> unity.  This isn't exactly a real firm because it is presented at a stage
> when competition has not yet been posited. If this were the case, then
> the macro issue in terms of stipulating the initial quantity of M doesn't
> come up: one could plug in _any_ number so long as a) the number is
> assumed to be sufficient to purchase C (MP, LP) and b) so long as
> M' is larger than M.  The issue, after all, for Marx wasn't  what the
> quantity of M in the beginning of the formula is; the issue was what is
> the source of delta M at the end of the formula.
> The micro/macro distinction that we're all familiar with doesn't work
> very well in terms of  interpreting Marx's theory, imo.
> In solidarity, Jerry

Hi Jerry,

In my view, the crucial point is the determination of the total
surplus-value prior to its division into individual parts, for which
there is very substantial evidence, which I have presented in several
papers.  It seems reasonable to me to describe this logical method as a
macro-micro distinction.


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